Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gluten Free 'Graham' Crackers!


Hi all! I hope everything is going well and you're ready for some graham crackers! I got inspired to come up with this recipe when my love said one day that he used to love graham crackers. So I thought to myself, "well, a gluten free and vegan version shouldn't be that hard." I got to researching and lo and behold I came upon a graham cracker recipe that wasn't gluten free or vegan but it still gave me the foundation to this recipe. It was Alton Brown's Graham Cracker recipe. I love looking at his baking recipes because he bakes by weight, not volume, which makes it much easier to convert to gluten free and vegan. Woot woot! Gotta love baking by weight. :)

Anyhoo, I concluded that the ratio he used for the crackers was approximately this:
Flour : Sugar : Fat : Liquid
  9     :    6     :   3  :   1.5
           
I adjusted the amounts and ratio for my tastes (such as slightly decreasing the amount of fat and sweetener) but they still came out awesome! So, if you'd like to play around with this ratio and create another cracker of your own, feel free to do so! It's so much fun! :)

Although, to be honest, I wouldn't call modern day graham crackers, 'crackers', considering they have more of a shortbread consistency than what the original graham cracker did, which was simply graham flour (which is unbleached wheat flour with added wheat bran and wheat germ), water and maybe a little bit of sweetener. They were the invention of Sylvester Graham, who was a Presbyterian minister, who said that eating bland foods and a mostly plant based diet, would decrease one's sexual urges. He actually had quite a following. But to be honest, I think that sexual urges and being sexual in general are part of human nature. I mean, there is a time and place for everything, but one's sexuality is a beautiful thing and I think we should embrace it. Although, I do think it was awesome that he promoted a predominantly plant based diet, I don't necessarily agree with all his teachings. But to each his own and I respect anyone in their beliefs, as long as they aren't hurting themselves or others.

Well, back to the recipe! Here it goes! :)

Gluten Free 'Graham' Crackers 

Prep Time: ~20 minutes (not including rest time for dough)
Servings: ~6 (depending on how hungry you are!)

Ingredients:
100 grams (7/8 cup) certified gluten free oat flour
25 grams (3 tablespoons) teff flour
25 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) buckwheat flour
14 grams (2 tablespoons) ground flax seed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
45 grams (3 tablespoons) coconut butter, softened
45 grams (5 1/2 tablespoons) coconut sugar
40 grams (2 tablespoons) molasses
30 grams (2 tablespoons) almond milk (OR other nondairy milk OR water)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:
In a large bowl, whisk the oat flour, teff flour, buckwheat flour, flax, cinnamon, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
In a small blender, blend the coconut butter, coconut sugar, molasses, almond milk, and vanilla until smooth. Add this mixture to the bowl of flour and whisk until combined. 
Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
After the dough has been sitting in the fridge, preheat the oven to 350F (177C). 
Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick. Try to make it into a squarish shape but if you can't it will still be delicious! Score the dough into squares using a knife or pizza cutter (or use a cookie cutter and make fun shapes!) and poke the dough with a fork all over the top. 
Bake in oven for about 12 minutes, or until the edges start to brown (make sure they don't get too brown! They get brown quick!). Let cool on baking sheet and break up into pieces on the score lines. Enjoy the crunchy goodness! :)

Tips:

  • Feel free to swap out different whole grain gluten free flours for the gluten free oat flour, teff flour and buckwheat flour. I wanted to use gluten free oat flour because it reminds me of the way whole wheat tastes and I just love using buckwheat and teff. But feel free to use millet flour, finely ground brown rice flour, quinoa flour, sorghum flour, etc. It will result in a slightly different flavor than the recipe, but I'm sure it will still be yumsters! I would steer clear of bean flours because they will most likely result in a bean-y taste. Nut flours would be wonderful here too, but you may need to adjust the amount for this recipe as nut flours absorb liquids differently than grain flours do. 
  • Molasses gives such a great depth of flavor to this recipe and, in my opinion, really gives the crackers their signature flavor. But if you'd prefer, you could use maple syrup, unprocessed honey (if you eat honey), or sorghum syrup for the molasses. Use whatever you have! :)

Yummy in my tummy!!
Here is the nutritional information for these crackers from CRON-O-Meter. These crackers are relatively low in fat and high in iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, potassium and selenium! Not bad for an almost cookie snack/dessert! My love enjoys these with some almond milk (or some coconut milk) and said they would be awesome as a cereal. Sounds good to me! :)

Thank you all so much for stopping by and checking out the recipe. Please let me know if you've tried it! I would love to hear any feedback. Much love and I hope you have an awesome day! :)

Love,
Rawnessa <3


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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sweet n' Spicy Raw Pumpkin Seeds


Hello all! I hope you all are doing well. It's good to be back and keeping up with posting. I like having an excuse to be creative in the kitchen and for buying different foods that I ordinarily would not. It's research, right? ;P

Beautiful Chimayó Chiles
Picture Source
Anyhoo, the inspiration for today's recipe are the Chimayó Chili Pecans from Hail Merry. They are so good and have such an awesome kick of spice from the black pepper and Chimayó chile, which is said to be the 'creme de la creme' of the chiles. Who knew? It has a depth of flavor that other chiles do not have and is grown in Chimayó, New Mexico. However, if you do not have access to this chile (which I didn't :P), you can most certainly use cayenne pepper or for some extra smokiness, some chipotle pepper. They still turned out super tasty! But if you can get your hands on the Chimayó pepper, please do use it and you'll get the real authentic flavor to mimic those pecans from Hail Merry. Mmmm... Or if you don't have time or the resources to make these. Buy some of those tasty pecans from Hail Merry. You totally won't regret it. Darn tasty.

I love to put these seeds on salads, on grain and bean dishes, or just to eat out of hand! I hope you like them as much as me and my love did. :) Without further ado, here is the recipe! :)

Sweet n' Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: ~5 minutes (not including soak time and dehydration time)
Servings: About 8

Ingredients: 
180 grams (1 cup) pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/8 + 1/16 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Instructions:
Place pumpkin seeds in a medium sized bowl and pour enough filtered water over them to cover them. Cover with a plate or towel and let soak at room temperature for about 6 hours. 

After the seeds have been soaked, rinse them until the water runs clear and drain well. Place in the same bowl that has been dried or another bowl of the same size. 

Add the coconut sugar, salt, black pepper, and cayenne and mix to combine. 

Place on two teflex (paraflexx or some nonstick silicone sheets) lined dehydrator sheets and spread out the seeds so that they are lying flat in one even layer. Dehydrate for one hour at 135⁰F (57⁰C). After the hour, decrease the temperature to 115⁰F (46⁰C) and let dehydrate for about another 15 hours or until crisp. They will crisp more once taken out of the dehydrator.

Store in a glass container in the refrigerator and enjoy!! :)  

Tips:
  • Soaking the pumpkin seeds helps increase the nutrition, activate enzymes, and decrease phytic acid of the seeds to aid in the ease of digestion and absorption. Some people say to soak nuts and seeds in water that has a little bit of pink Himalayan salt, which is said to also help deactivate enzyme inhibitors. But I usually soak them without salt. Do what works for you. :)
  • Feel free to use any other nut or seed for this recipe! I was really craving pumpkin seeds, so I used them. But any other nut or seed would be super tasty in this recipe. :)
Get in my belly! :D
Here is the nutritional information for this recipe from CRON-O-Meter. Although, it does not take into account the soaking of the seeds, the nutritional information will be similar. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, magnesium, and iron, which are all great for heart, immune, bone and prostate health. Yay for pumpkin seeds! :P

Thank you all for stopping by! I hope you all enjoy the recipe and let me know if you try it! I hope you all have a beautiful day. :)

Love,
Rawnessa <3

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Make Fresh Coconut Milk (Mylk) and Grain Free Three Seed Coconut Pulp Crackers!

Coconut mylk is so much better in a wine glass. :P
Hi all! I hope you are all doing well and are having an oobertastic day! Sorry, I get a little goofy sometimes. :P Still going with the theme of how to's, I decided to do a coconut mylk recipe along with a coconut pulp recipe!

The coconut mylk recipe is very similar to the almond mylk recipe that I just posted but, has one slight difference that can make or break the recipe. It's minor though and is still super duper easy! :) I also wanted to showcase the use of coconut pulp. Did you know that coconut pulp is the same thing as the coconut flour sold in stores? Except that coconut flour is ground down to a finer texture. So, if you like coconut mylk, then you can make your own coconut flour and use it in baked and raw pastries! Just dry out your pulp via the dehydrator or at a super low temperature in your oven (about 200F for a few hours) and whiz it up in your blender. Easy peasy and Super cool! :)

I like to leave my coconut mylk unsweetened because I like to use it in savory dishes. But feel free to add a few dates, coconut sugar, or whatever other sweetener you prefer when you are going to blend the coconut flakes with the first half of the water. Adding a pinch of salt will bring out the yummy flavor even more too if you'd like to add it in!


Fresh Coconut Milk (or Mylk)

Yield: 2 cups (500 mL)
Prep Time: 10 - 15 minutes

Ingredients:
95 grams (1 cup) raw unsweetened coconut flakes
500 grams (500 mL/2 cups) water
dates, coconut sugar, or other sweetener (optional)
pinch of fine pink Himalayan salt (optional)

Instructions:
Warm up the water in a small pot until tepid. Add half the amount of water with the coconut flakes and sweetener, if using, into a blender and blend until somewhat smooth on medium/high speed (you make need to use a tamper). Then add the rest of the water and blend for 5 seconds on medium/high speed again; not too long so as not to create too much air bubbles
Place the nut mylk bag in a medium sized bowl. Pour the contents of the blender through the nut mylk bag (or pillowcase or doubled up clean pantyhose) and gently squeeze the mylk from the bag into the bowl. Set aside the pulp for another use (or the yummy recipe below!). 

Add the pinch of salt (optional) to the mylk and swirl around to combine. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Tips:
  • The reason why I warm up the water first is to make sure the fat of the coconut doesn't separate from the liquid part when I start to squeeze the nut mylk bag. I've had to throw out batches of coconut mylk one too many times, where I've used cold water to blend up the coconut flakes. Big no no. All that comes out is fat globules and water. Not pleasant. :/
Now it is time for the crackers! These crackers completely surprised me. I couldn't believe how yummy they turned out! The flavor reminds me of a mixture between Mary's Gone Crackers and papadum (which is an Indian cracker that is usually made of black gram, chickpeas or other legumes and/or rice flour). They are super tasty and give such an awesome crunch to any dish, or can be used as a dipper for any dips! I varied the salt amount because I thought that the 1/2 teaspoon used was too much for me, while my boyfriend thought it was the perfect amount. Start off with less salt and see what taste better suits you. :) I hope you enjoy!


Three Seed Coconut Pulp Crackers (Grain Free, Gluten Free, and Nut Free)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: ~32 crackers

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons ground flax
4 tablespoons water
100 grams coconut pulp (1 cup)
30 grams tapioca starch (1/4 cup)
15 grams chia seeds (1 tablespoon)
10 grams sesame seeds (1 tablespoon)
10 grams flax seeds (1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt (depending on your salt preference)
1/8 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
125 grams water (1/2 cup or 125 mL)

Instructions:
Preheat your oven to 350 F (177C).
In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax and the 4 tablespoons water until uniform. Set aside to thicken while making the rest of the batter.
In a medium sized bowl, mix the coconut pulp, tapioca, chia, sesame, flax seeds (not the ground flax mixture), onion powder, salt and turmeric until combined. Then add the water and the ground flax/water mixture.
Mix to completely combine. On a parchment (or silicone mat) lined baking sheet, drop the mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls. and spread these little lumps almost to paper thinness (about 1/16 inch), but not so thin that you can see through to the parchment (or silicone mat) underneath. Bake for about 12 minutes until crispy.
Take off the crackers and let them cool on a plate for about a minute. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Enjoy!!! :)

Tips:
  • Feel free to use any other seeds for the whole flax, chia and sesame seeds used in the recipe, such as pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, poppy or any other seed! :) Get creative and have fun! 
  • If you don't want to take the time to spread each cracker individually (who can blame you? It is time consuming), you can spread the batter into a rectangle shape and score it into squares or triangles. The baking time will be a little bit longer though (about 20 to 30 minutes). Check on them periodically to make sure they don't burn though! I know I always happen to forget things in the oven and end up burning them. :P 
  • Change up the spices in these to get a different flavor! Cumin seeds would be lovely in here, as well as some minced garlic, Italian herbs, or whatever suits your fancy! :)
  • I added turmeric to these for some extra yellow color, (love me some color!) but feel free to leave it out.

What I love about these crackers is that they are full of fiber as compared to other crackers on the market, and have a good amount of iron, carbohydrates and protein. Woot for homemade crackers and not wasting anything! :) Here is the nutritional information for them from CRON-O-Meter. 

I hope you all enjoy the post today! Let me know if you tried these recipes and what your thoughts are on them. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day. Sending out good vibes and happy thoughts!

Love,
Rawnessa <3


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